Lotus: We’re disappointed with qualifying in sixth and tenth
7 July, 2012
Jul.7 (Lotus Press Release) Kimi Räikkönen qualified in sixth position whilst Romain Grosjean qualified tenth after a rain-interrupted qualifying at Silverstone for tomorrow’s British Grand Prix. Romain will line up in ninth position on the grid thanks to a penalty for a car ahead.
Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05. Q: P6, 1:53.290. FP3: P5, 1:32.454:
“We made a slightly wrong decision by using the full wet and I only had one lap in the restarted final qualifying session with the intermediates, otherwise I think it was possible to have gone faster. We also had a problem with the KERS which we tried to fix during the red flag break. We’re in sixth place, which is certainly not a disaster; but it could have been better. The weather makes it a bit tricky for everybody. It’s not easy, especially with the spray and this is even more difficult in race conditions when everyone is fighting for the same piece of track. On the plus side for the fans, it’s good fun to watch, even if it’s not the nicest weather if you’re in a grandstand.”
Romain Grosjean, E20-04. Q: P10, No time set in Q3. FP3: P3, 1:32.358:
“It’s frustrating and I’m very sorry for the team as it looks like we had a strong car, but sometimes mistakes happen. My lap was not much different from the previous lap but it was different enough for me to go off and the car went backwards into the gravel and then it was stranded. It was very slippery. We deserved better, but we will do our best tomorrow to gain positions to get some good points. It will be a long race and starting position doesn’t mean as much if there are variable conditions. There’s also a benefit from not making it into Q3 as I have a fresh set of intermediate tyres. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”
Alan Permane, Director of Trackside Operations:
“We’re certainly ready for any race conditions.”
How do you assess today’s qualifying performance?
“We’re disappointed with qualifying in sixth and tenth today. Romain made a mistake after going fifth fastest in Q2 so was unable to demonstrate any of his pace in the top ten qualifying group. With Kimi it looks like we should have used intermediates sooner in the restarted session, but that is something which is easy to say with hindsight but difficult to judge at the time.”
How much did Kimi’s KERS issue in qualifying hamper him?
“In the wet conditions we experienced, the lack of KERS would have cost him a couple of tenths. With the KERS functioning it could have been possible to be a position further forwards on the grid. That said, being on the correct tyres and crossing the line to be the last driver on a flying lap would have yielded far more time. We took advantage of the rain delay to change everything we could to rectify the KERS issue, but were unable to do so in the time available. We don’t expect it to be an issue in tomorrow’s race.”
How confident are we in the different weather conditions we’ve seen so far?
“It looks like there will be showers again so we need to be prepared to run any of the four different tyres available from Pirelli. From what we’ve seen so far this weekend, we’d prefer it to be dry, as we looked competitive in this morning’s dry practice session with Romain on the hard tyre. If it is dry, the hard compound looks to be the favoured race tyre, but if it’s wet we’re certainly ready for any race conditions.”